Food - Drink
How Cottage Food Regulations Can Affect Your Home Canned Food
By KATIE LENHARDT
Cottage food laws are state-mandated regulations that allow small-scale producers to create and sell goods from their home kitchens, avoiding costly licenses and commercial kitchen rental fees. If you're interested in bringing your homemade treats to the market, stay on top of your state's regulations in order to ensure customer safety and personal success.
Under most cottage food laws, baked goods are considered "low-risk," since they usually do not contain perishable ingredients that require refrigeration. Other low-risk foods include jams and chutneys made from high-acid fruits, which are more resistant to bacterial growth; if you want to sell foods from either of these categories, cottage regulations likely have you covered.
Cottage food regulations generally prohibit "high-risk" foods like meat, dairy, fresh vegetables, and baked goods with perishable ingredients like egg custards; when made in everyday home kitchens, these products run a higher risk of spoiling, growing bacteria, and spreading foodborne illnesses. There are also more preparation guidelines that sellers should follow.
Home canned goods must be prepared in a supremely clean kitchen, using sterilized utensils or a pressure canner. This ensures that the food is safe and can prevent botulism, a type of food poisoning resulting from bacteria in foods with low acidity and/or foods that are prepared incorrectly. Always do your own research on your state's cottage laws, as well.